ASIA/IRAQ - The Chaldean Patriarch: from Iraqi Premier full support to the Christian communities

Monday, 3 November 2014

Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - A commitment, explicit and personal, to take charge of the defense of the Christian community in Iraq has been expressed by the Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al Abadi, in the afternoon of Sunday, November 2 in a meeting with the leaders of the Christian Churches in Baghdad. This was reported to Agenzia Fides by Chaldean Patriarch Raphael Louis I, who led the delegation of Bishops and prelates received by the Premier.
"In the 40-minute talk - says to Fides the Primate of the Chaldean Church - Prime Minister al Abadi, a Shiite Muslim, repeated several times he personally feels responsible for the protection and defense of Christian citizens also. He deplored the phenomenon of the exodus of Christians, defining it as a great loss to the nation. With regard to the tragic story of the land fallen under the control of the Islamic Caliphate, we urged the Prime Minister to promote in every way the liberation of the occupied lands. With much realism he acknowledged that military action will not be enough to solve the problem and that, in the long run, a process that removes the roots of the phenomenon, and brings out the true face of Islam open and respectful of all rights should be encouraged".
In his meeting with the Prime Minister, the heads of the Christian communities in Baghdad also mentioned some recent incidents of violence suffered by Christians in the capital. "Recently - says the Chaldean Patriarch - some Christians were kidnapped and some houses of Christian families were attacked by a group of criminals who wanted to occupy them. The Prime Minister has promised that he will enhance the presence of military units in the neighborhoods, and also said he was willing to co-opt another Christian minister in the government. I was told me he is a man of word and keeps his promises". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 03/11/2014)

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